- Table of Contents
- Picture Quality
- Sound Quality
- Smart Features
Sizes and Variants
The Samsung KS9500 4k UHD TV is a very well balanced TV. Its picture quality is great no matter the room, source or content being played. It can get very bright and handles reflections well. When viewed from the side though, its picture quality diminishes.
- Great TV for movies especially HDR content.
- Can get extremely bright and has very low reflection.
- Great gaming TV with low input lag.
- Loses picture quality at an angle.
The Samsung KS9500 has a great look. Its design is very simple, yet very sleek. The TV is really thin, lines are pure, metal parts boast a chrome finish and even its back have a nice textured dark-gray finish. It will definitely look good in any room.
The KS9500 does better than its lower-end cousin, the 8500. The One Connect box doesn't get very warm either at a measly 34C.
- 11% Contrast
- 6% Local Dimming
- 6% SDR Peak Brightness
- 6% HDR Peak Brightness
- 6% Gray Uniformity
- 7% Viewing Angle
- 4% Black Uniformity
- 2% Gradient
- 4% Pre Calibration
- 1% Post Calibration
- 6% 480p Input
- 9% 720p Input
- 11% 1080p Input
- 6% 4k Input
- 4% Color Gamut
- 4% Color Volume
- 1% Image Retention
- 6% Reflections
- 1% 3D
Picture quality of the Samsung KS9500 is impressive. Blacks are very deep and the uniformity is good. There is excellent wide color reproduction and a very high peak brightness. From low to high resolutions, details are always crisp. Deals with reflections very well, but unfortunately the picture quality diminishes when viewed from the side.
Extremely deep and impressive blacks for an LED TV. Among the highest native contrast ratio we have ever measured.
Local dimming isn't that good. Full array backlight TVs can do much better. We used local dimming ('Smart LED') set at 'High' for this test and unfortunately, the dot in our video stayed pretty dimmed. In practice, more blooming can be seen than in our video. The blooming shape is a big vertical band.
The Samsung KS9500 have a good SDR peak brightness. With a minimum of around 500 cd/ and with a peak of more than a 1000 cd/m², this makes this TV one of the brightest TVs tested with SDR content.
The brightest results we have seen so far. In this test, we used the 'High' setting for local dimming ('Smart LED') since it was able to brighten our 2% window the most. It went as high as 1490 cd/m². This mean bright highlights can get very, very bright. Good value for the 50% window too which mean the whole screen can also get pretty bright. Peak brightness works a little differently than on the Sony X930D. On the Samsung KS9500, on all window sizes, peak brightness will diminish after some time, but goes back up when something moves on the screen, like our mouse cursor. On regular materials, this mean brightness is more stable. Big blooming areas can be seen around some bright highlights though.
Update: Updated with sustained brightness.
Very good for an LED TV. The edges of the screen are darker but the TV is free from any obvious banding issue. The dirty screen effect (DSE) isn't much of a problem for sports when camera pans over playing fields.
Like all VA LED TVs, the picture quality diminish at an angle. The blacks worsen and the colors shift. There is worse VA TVs than this one though but it is still a notable downside of this TV.
Update: We have changed the methodology of testing. Since this is an old TV which we don't have anymore, we extrapolated the results.
There is some faint cloud spots that can be seen on a totally black screen and the top edge of the screen is slightly more lit up than the rest of the screen. Overall though, the black uniformity of the Samsung KS9500 is among the best we have seen.
The Samsung KS9500 displayed a very smooth color gradient with no color banding or color gradations to be seen.
No real issues before calibration except maybe for the blue which was a little prominent.
As for other Samsung TVs, calibration was a breeze and all issues were resolved. We ended up with very low white balance and color errors which is great.
Nice coverage of DCI P3 and Rec 2020. Colors are able to get a good deal more saturated when HDR content is playing compared to traditional Rec 709 content.
The Samsung KS9500 performs very similarly to the other KS* TVs, and is one of the best color volume performers of the 2016 models. It can produce bright, saturated colors but unfortunately at low luminosity levels the volume is limited.
Although the Samsung KS9500 has a glossy screen, its screen doesn't reflect a lot of lights. The curve also stretch the reflections so they appear wider but less harsh. Some little rainbow effects can be observed around bright objects but aren't that noticeable.
The Samsung KS9500 is great at handling motion. It has a bit of blur on fast moving objects but nothing very distracting. When playing movies from any source they appear smooth. Motion can be interpolated up to the native panel refresh rate of 120Hz.
Dark to bright transitions, like the 0% to 100%, take longer. This can be seen on our moving logo test, where the right edge of the logo appears darker. As a whole though, motion is good on the Samsung KS9500.
The TV is able to detect and do the reverse 3:2 pulldown on all sources inluding 60i and 60p. For those two, we had to set 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' with both sliders to 0. This didn't add the soap opera effect.
Motion interpolation ('Auto Motion Plus') can be enabled on all content. This will smooth out motion, but also add the soap opera effect (SOE). Low 'Custom' values will add smoothness without much of the SOE.
The input lag of the KS9500 is very low, which is great. It supports a wide range of resolutions and inputs. Text appears very clear when in 'PC' mode regardless of the background. Unfortunately it doesn't support a 120Hz signal.
Very fast 1080p input lag. All types of games feel responsive. Competitive gamers will like the benefit they get from that low input lag. 'Game' mode has to be selected from the 'Special viewing modes' under the 'Picture' menu to get the lowest input lag. When sending and HDR signal at 1080p resolution under game mode, the input lag is 22.6ms.
- 20% 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 1080p @ 120Hz
- 20% 4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
To enable 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4, turn on 'HDMI UHD Color' from the picture menu. For the other resolutions, 4:4:4 can be enabled only by enabling PC mode (on the list of inputs, hover the current input used and press up on the remote, then 'Edit' and select 'PC'). We have measured 37.1 ms of input lag under 'PC' mode. A curved screen is always nice when sitting up close on setups where the TV is used as PC monitor.
The TV supports 5.1 passthrough for Dolby Digital and DTS, but it is necessary to select the correct audio type in the sound settings, since it doesn't change automatically.
Compared to most TV, the Samsung KS9500 produce an acceptable sound. Anyone that care about sound would still like a sound bar better but those that doesn't have the space required for an external solution or doesn't want to create cluttered around the TV should be somewhat satisfied with the sound of this TV.
Note: Sound Quality test for TVs reviewed before 2017 was performed at 75dB, 85dB, and Max SPL. Starting 2017, the target SPL levels have been changed to 70dB, 80dB, and Max dB SPL.
Very good frequency response and low-end cutoff, especially for a TV. But maximum loudness could be better. The TV also seem to be producing compression and pumping near the maximum loudness.
Relatively high distortion. Although this TV doesn't produce audible aliasing, the harmonic distortion could be audible at times.
The revamped interface of the Tizen smart platform is a welcome improvement. It isn't as pretty as LG's WebOS smart platform but a step in the right direction. It is also very responsive on the Samsung KS9500 and provide the most popular apps. A Mini One Connect box come with this TV and offers enough inputs for most needs. The included remote works well too and can even work as a universal remote for devices connected to the TV.
When a new device is detected (such as when a computer is woken from sleep while plugged into an HDMI port) the TV automatically switches to this device. This may be an annoyance if you are watching other content at the time.
Differences between Sizes and Variants
We tested the 55" (UN55KS9500) version FA01. For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 65" version (UN65KS9500).
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung KS9500 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.
Compared to other TVs
The Samsung KS9500 is the best LED TV we have reviewed so far for a mixed usage but there are cheaper and near as good TVs that are available which explains why we don't really recommend the KS9500
The Samsung JS9500 has a slightly inferior but similar picture quality and can be found for cheaper. It has a better local dimming. It also has 3D over the KS9500. The KS9500 has a better picture quality in a dark room and offers better HDR. It also is a better fit in the living room because of its added brightness and low amount of reflections.
For watching movies in the dark and playing video games, the Vizio P is better. For cable TV and sports with long camera traveling shots, like in football and hockey, the Samsung KS9500 is better. For a similar picture quality and since the Vizio P goes for a lot cheaper than the KS9500, more often than not, the Vizio P is a smarter buy.
The Sony X930D has 3D and the KS9500 does not. Beside of this, the KS9500 is the better TV. Movies, including HDR, look better on it. Video games that requires fast reflexes like online shooters or combat games will run better on the KS9500. The KS9500 is also a better fit in the living room with its better brightness and low amount of screen reflections.
The LG OLED EF9500 has better picture quality except for HDR content. It also has 3D where the Samsung KS9500 does not. For video games that requires fast reflexes, the Samsung KS9500 has the edge.
Questions & Answers
Update: Review posted of the KS8000.
Peak brightness behaves differently depending on the 'Active LED' setting. There is no variation of brightness when the setting is off or set at 'Low'. On 'High', the TV will reach its peak brightness, stay at max for a few seconds and start to dim until it reaches its the low value. When something is moving on the screen (our mouse cursor for example), the TV goes back to the peak brightness value of the specific window size. It shouldn't vary much on normal content because of this.
|2%||521 cd/m2||521 cd/m2||318 cd/m2||318 cd/m2||1412 cd/m2||501 cd/m2|
|10%||518 cd/m2||518 cd/m2||488 cd/m2||488 cd/m2||1400 cd/m2||494 cd/m2|
|25%||516 cd/m2||516 cd/m2||508 cd/m2||508 cd/m2||924 cd/m2||492 cd/m2|
|50%||513 cd/m2||513 cd/m2||511 cd/m2||511 cd/m2||617 cd/m2||500 cd/m2|
|100%||507 cd/m2||507 cd/m2||510 cd/m2||510 cd/m2||507 cd/m2||503 cd/m2|
Note: This table was done without sending an HDR signal, which is why it is different than the measurements in our review.
Both are great TVs that will satisfy most. They are close on a lot of aspects. There isn't one that is clearly better than the other one. It really depends on your usage and personal preference.
- Movies in the dark: Vizio P Series (better local dimming)
- HDR Movies: Samsung KS9500 (brighter and wider color gamut)
- Video games: Vizio P Series (less motion blur)
- Sports: Depends which sports. Ones with a lot of panning shots like soccer or hockey, Samsung KS9500 (better uniformity). For other sports, Vizio P (less motion blur).
- Living room: Samsung KS9500 (brighter and less reflections)
- Smart features: Samsung KS9500 (more polished experience)
Overall, the Vizio P is really great at some stuff, but falls short on others. The KS9500 is more balanced without major flaws, so a safer choice for the average guy with mixed usage. But as mentioned previously, both are great TVs.
We haven't tested the KS8000/KS9000 yet, but for sure, the EF9500 is still better overall, and even compared to the KS9500. If you can live with OLED's issues (poor dark gray uniformity for example), and don't mind the more limited color gamut, the 55EF9500 is one step above all LED TVs.
We list all our major updates to the formula of the scores here. Recopied here with a bit more details:
- Gradient are now scored and part of HDR (with a weight of 20%)
- Increased weight Local Dimming in Dark Scene (from 17% to 26%)
- Increased weight HDR in Movies (from 13% to 19%)
- Increased weight Gray Uniformity in Sports (from 33% to 44%)
- Increased weight Input Lag in Video Games (from 31% to 35%)
- Reflections scored adjusted for consistency
You can see the full breakdown of the weights and what is included in each category by clicking the ? next to each category in our reviews, or navigating our full test suite under the 'Tests' tab at top of our website.
Also, don't forget that the overall score is only if you have a mixed usage. If you care more about a certain aspect, for example, movies in a dark room, look at this category subscore instead (which you can sort by here).
Update: Review posted of the KS8000.
Update: Review posted of the KS9000.
Update: Review posted of the KS9000.